South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) encodes live World Cup signals with Harmonic

A variety of contribution and distribution solutions from Harmonic were deployed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the official host broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup tournament, to facilitate the live broadcast of the games.

The tournament has been played in 10 stadiums in nine South African cities from June 11 to July 11, 2010. The SABC selected Harmonic Ellipse 1000 contribution encoders, Electra 8000 HD broadcast encoders and ProView integrated receiver/decoders (IRDs) along with Atecom’s ATM adaptors from local Harmonic partner Graphic Image Technologies.

To bring the matches live to fans, an Electra 8000 dual-channel HD encoder and 12 Ellipse 1000 SD encoders, ProView 2900 SD IRDs and ProView 7000 HD decoders were seamlessly integrated through Atecom Falcon ATM units over the local telco’s ATM network into SABC’s video infrastructure. The link-up facilitated networking the FIFA International Broadcast Centre (IBC) to the SABC’s Broadcasting Centre at the Sandton Convention Centre and its master control room in Auckland Park for final broadcast.

The Ellipse 1000 encoder is designed to support fixed contribution over IP and legacy ATM/PDH/SDH networks. It provides efficient bit-rate utilization for delivery of high-quality video. The Ellipse 1000 simultaneously encodes video feeds as MPEG-2 SD 4:2:0/4:2:2 and MPEG-4 AVC SD 4:2:0, providing a smooth and cost-effective migration path from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC encoding schemes. The unit is also firmware-upgradeable to MPEG-4 AVC HD.

The ProView family of integrated receiver/decoders provides MPEG-2 and AVC SD/HD decoding, advanced transport stream processing, cutting-edge IP processing technologies and a variety of front-ends, including DVB-S2 and MPEG over IP.